September 09, 2012

Are We Better Off Today than 4 Years Ago?

Are we better off four years into Obama's presidency? Well, it depends how you look at it. I say, yes, we are! The previous chief and his crew started the fire that began to consume our house. This chief and his crew put out the fire and have began the rebuilding process. Is our house better since 2008? Probably yes. Is it better since we arrived? Probably not. However, the previous regime that created the whole mess now wants the keys back because the present regime hasn't completely fixed the mess!

Oh, and when the current chief asks for tools, programs, jobs, the Republicans in Congress say, NO! Under our system, the president can't raise or spend money unless Congress agrees. Further, we should never elect to high office persons and political parties that do not have a positive view regarding government. If they don't think our government can be a positive force for our commonwealth, they should stay away. No, government is not the answer to all problems, but it is the agent that reduces obstacles to freedom, to enhance access to opportunity, and to push for legal equality.

The numbers

Clinton was right, the Dems have created almost twice as many jobs despite controlling the White House for fewer years! The Repubs have created more deficits and increased the gap between the 1% and the rest. How about the market? Without including the Great Depression [guess who was mainly responsible for it?], had you invested in the market, under a Dem president you'd have gotten an annual return twice as big, 8.9% to 4.7%; including Hoover's term, then it drops to 0.4%! [Here's the link to those numbers]

Obama gets an "D" (barely passes) when it comes to political communication. He cut taxes for 95% of the middle class taxpayers and nobody knows it. The benefits of the health care law are not known to those not immediately affected by it, so many people think it's another big government program costing billions more, when it's not and it actually reduces medical expenses. One third of the stimulus went to tax breaks for working people!

There's been a huge investment in green jobs and the CBO reports that 2.5 millions jobs are a direct effect. Likewise for the automobile industry and the many private business connected to it. The stimulus package was mainly a jobs bill in essence, but Obama hasn't communicated that!

Banks got a bailout--private banks with very highly-paid execs--but that saved the financial system. It wasn't done in a way most of us would have liked, but it was necessary.

Where's G. W. Bush?

In 2008, the US had lost millions of jobs, and was losing hundred of thousands every month until the summer of 2009 when Obama's policies began to take effect. The conservatives started labeling the Great Recession as Obama's recession a week after the November election in 2008!

If the GOP really believes Obama is responsible not for the pace of the recovery but for the roots of the problem why don't they take G.W. Bush and his crew out of mothballs and parade them around today until the election? Did you hear Dubya's name at the GOP convention? I didn't either!

In 2008, the economy was shrinking 9% a year; it was like the entire economy of Canada disappearing! Deregulation and lack of oversight of Wall Street created many of the financial scandals. This is the philosophy and policies of the conservatives at play. Yes, many Democratic leaders also cater to Wall Street and big banks. A few support regulation of the marketplace and not a libertarian's paradise, like Somalia...

Why? Because capitalism needs referees, needs oversight, needs to be saved from itself. The more successful, stable, happy, safest, healthiest countries are the ones who have strong regulations and a good oversight. The more "pure capitalist" countries are on the opposite side of this spectrum. Check it out.

It's truly amazing that the US conservatives' policies attract so much support. Why Romney and his party are still competitive in this election... They are not saying anything different nor are proposing new policies but the ones that got us into a deep recession and worsened the position of the middle class.  Are we suffering from Alzheimer's as a nation? Let's see what happens on November 6th, 2012, when not only the presidency will be decided but Congress and the future Supreme Court.

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